Expert Final Thoughts - How To Bet Raiders vs. Texans

Houston Texans players running into the field

Friday, January 6, 2017 2:31 PM GMT

With starting QB Derek Carr done for the season and backup Matt McGloin a question mark the Raiders may have to turn to third-stringer Connor Cook on Saturday, but at least the host Texans have QB problems of their own, right?

Oakland Raiders vs Houston Texans  - AFC Wild Card Round 

The Oakland Raiders head to NRG Stadium (Grass) Saturday to face the Houston Texans in an AFC Wild Card game with the winner possibly heading to New England.

Offshore sportsbooks have Houston 3½-point favorites everywhere with the total from 36½ to 37. The money line sees the Texans -189 chalks with the Raiders +170 with the 1st Half odds seeing Houston -2½.

 

Oakland Raiders

The Raiders may head into this game with 3rd-string QB Connor Cook—who looked better than Matt McGloin in week 17 at Denver—but it’s the Mind Frame the Silver and Black may be taking with them that could give the Texans the edge here. Losing the AFC West, the #2 seed and a week off is bad enough, but getting McGloin hurt and scoring just 6 points was a rancid way to end this franchise’s best Regular Season in years.

So with regular starter Derek Carr (Fibula) out and McGloin (Shoulder) questionable for Oakland, it could be up to Cook, who has never started at QB to start a Postseason game—he’d be the first since 1966—against an elite defense. So expect much Latavius Murray and shorter routes to Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree.

 

 

Houston Texans

DeAndre Hopkins and Houston also has QB issues, but at least the hosts have a couple guys with some experience should Tom Savage clear the NFL’s concussion protocol. HC Bill O’Brien named Brock Osweiler starter, so Houston enters with better options at QB.

Toss in the home crowd, the return of electric RB Lamar Miller and the NFL’s #1 total defense and it’s no wonder that this point spread has risen from its opening 1½.

 

Experienced Quarterbacks, Site Matter

These two met Week 11 in Mexico City with Carr and Osweiler starting QBs and the loser living to play another day. But Saturday, it could be a showdown between Michigan State Rookie Cook and the much-maligned Osweiler. The Raiders are 9-2 ATS L11 road and Houston is 0-6 ATS L6 grass while the road team is 4-1 ATS L5 in this series. But with Cook being thrown to Jadeveon Clowney and the wolves...

 

Predicted Final Score: Texans 20 Raiders 17Free NFL Pick: Texans -178Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes

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